Where were the helicopters?

Cable TV and wire reports are pouring in about the heroic efforts to feed cattle and other livestock affected by the blizzards out West:

Hundreds of hay bales fell from the sky across Colorado's rangeland as military helicopter and cargo plane crews spent a second day Thursday delivering food to cattle that have been stranded by heavy snow and high drifts for a week.

[..]The situation on the snowbound plains is getting dire. Typically, cattle can survive only five to 10 days without food or water in good conditions, state veterinarian John Maulsby said. For the cattle in eastern Colorado and on the Kansas and Nebraska plains, it has now been seven days since a blizzard dumped up to 3 feet of snow and whipped up 10-foot-high drifts.

"We think there are probably 30,000 head (of cattle) out there that are at risk that we're having to make sure we feed," said Maj. Gen. Mason Whitney of the Colorado Guard.

A noble effort to be sure. It's hard not to feel sorry for cattle stranded and starving in the snow, even if their destiny is your next cheeseburger.

But it makes you wonder where the helicopters were during Katrina? Tens of thousands of people herded into the New Orleans Superdome and Convention Center like cattle went days without food, water, or medical supplies. How hard would it have been to fly a few National Guard helicopters by to drop in some water, baby formula, and MREs?

Officials in the affected areas also say they are working frantically to restore power to thousands of people affected by the blizzards. Meanwhile, entire sections of New Orleans are still without power, water, schools or hospitals nearly a year and a half after Katrina.

But don't blame the weather. Blame the residents of Colorado and the mid-west cattle ranchers for choosing to live and work where they might be affected by blizzards and for not being prepared. Maybe it's time to discuss whether Denver ought to just be abandoned.